Advancing the profession and promoting the oral health of the public by increasing access to oral health care

The Advocacy Committee of AzDHA represents the interests of Arizona dental hygienists in legislative and regulatory matters affecting the licensure and practice of dental hygienists in the state of Arizona. We are your voice and we stay abreast of all relevant activities of the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners (BODEX) including the Dental Hygiene Committee, the Arizona State Legislature and other governmental agencies such as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

We are fortunate to work in collaboration with Compass Strategies, one of the most influential public affairs and political consulting firms in Arizona.

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Advocacy Update

As an oral health professional, you know first-hand about the link between oral health and overall health and the great disparities that exist in access to oral health care. Currently, about 58 million Americans rely on Medicare programs for health care and only a third of them have any coverage for oral health because Medicare does not provide for oral health services.

ADHA is asking all members to contact their federal representatives in support of Medicare coverage for oral health services. In less than two minutes, you can urge your federal legislators to improve access to care for this vulnerable population by including coverage for oral health services in Medicare.

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2019 Legislative Recap

When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2569 on April 10, 2019 he proclaimed that “Arizona is open for business”. The move is unprecedented. When this law goes into effect on or about August 26 th , licensed professionals from any state will be able to become licensed to practice in Arizona much easier. Certain stipulations do apply and the Board of Dental Examiners will have to work out the specific requirements and how best to implement this law. – READ MORE –
Passage of HB 2058, a bill sponsored by Representative Nancy Barto on our behalf, makes two (2) important changes to our scope of practice. First, it allows dental hygienists to practice under the general supervision of a physician in an in-patient hospital setting. Second, it allows affiliated practice dental hygienists (APDH) to supervise dental assistants consistent with the terms of their affiliated practice agreements. – READ MORE –

Once again, AzDHA worked with a coalition of many organizations including the AZ Dental Association, March of Dimes, Children’s Action Alliance, the Arizona Oral Health Coalition and others to expand AHCCCS covered services to include comprehensive dental coverage during pregnancy and to appropriate the required state match funding. Despite broad bipartisan support, this expansion succumbed to other budget priorities. It is not uncommon for legislative efforts like this to take years so we will persist!

Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as KidsCare, provides health care coverage for children who do not otherwise qualify for Arizona’s Medicaid program. KidsCare was fully funded this year and the law that automatically freezes the KidsCare program if the federal funding contribution drops below 100% has been removed bringing stability to the program and relief to many parents.

HB 2197 was signed by the Governor on May 16th and will require an initial group of five health licensing boards to collect certain data from applicants beginning January 2020. The dental board is not included in this initial group but is expected to be added in the future. This measure will provide better data about health professional workforce in order to improve capacity and distribution.

The governor signed SB 1034 that improves our overly burdensome and politically contentious process for expanding scope of practice for professions like ours or establishing new health care professions. AzDHA supported this bill.

Make Your Voice Heard

Have you ever wished there was an easy way to quickly let legislators know your position on a particular bill? Well, your wish has been granted – it’s called the Request to Speak Program. This program of the Arizona State Legislature allows members of the public to make comments and give their position on bills being considered in Legislative Committees at the House and Senate. AzDHA members are invited to register for the program by clicking the link below. An account will be created for you by the AzDHA Advocacy Team. Once your account is created, you will notified by email and you can comment on bills being heard in Committee through your online access. Legislative Committees hear bills January through April so get prepared NOW!

Sign up for Request to Speak

Watch the brief videos below to learn more about the legislative process and current issues for the AzDHA!


PART 2 – Get Involved!